TNK-BP Holding (>> TNK-BP Holding OAO), a 50-50 joint venture between BP PLC (BP, BP.LN) and a group of Russian investors, is interested in partnering with Russia's state-controlled oil company Rosneft (>> Rosneft' NK OAO) on mostly untapped offshore energy resources in the Arctic, TNK-BP's top manager told Dow Jones Newswires on Saturday.
"Upon receiving Rosneft's invitation to participate in the Arctic projects, we responded with a letter confirming TNK-BP's interest. We look forward to starting working group meetings with Rosneft in the nearest future," Chris Einchcomb, TNK-BP's senior vice president of exploration and appraisal, said.
Faced with stagnating oil production and moving to harness Russia's vast Arctic oil and gas reserves, President-elect Vladimir Putin promised in April to scrap taxes on exports from new offshore fields and to consider letting private companies, not only state-controlled as before, secure licenses to develop them.
Following the changes Rosneft invited private companies to work with it on the shelf. TNK-BP thus joins Lukoil Holdings (LUKOY, LKOH.RS) in expressing interest.
"We're looking out into the long term, as production may still be 10 to 20 years out," Einchcomb said.
"These projects in the Arctic will require advanced technology, flawless project management and high health and safety standards," he added.
Norway's Statoil ASA (STO, STL.OS) signed on Saturday a cooperation agreement with Rosneft to develop Russia's Arctic offshore fields, joining two other global majors, Exxon Mobil Corp. (>> Exxon Mobil Corporation) and Italy's Eni SpA (E, ENI.MI), which signed similar deals in April.
-By Alexander Kolyandr, Dow Jones Newswires; +7 495 232-9192; [email protected]